New study finds hospital outpatients are sicker, lower income

September 26, 2018

Eric Lewis on AHA panel 9-2018A new study conducted for the American Hospital Association has found that Medicare patients who receive care in a hospital outpatient department are more likely to be lower income and have more severe chronic conditions than Medicare patients treated in an independent physician’s office. The study highlights why proposals under consideration by Congress to reimburse hospitals the same amount as physician’s offices could threaten access to care for the most vulnerable patients and communities. We are pleased to report that Sens. Murray and Cantwell have both signed the Dear Colleague letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services opposing the recent cuts by CMS to grandfathered hospital-based clinics.

“This is not the first Medicare cut, but this is a tipping point,” said Eric Lewis, CEO of Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, on an American Hospital Association Panel in Washington, D.C. “This is going to really hurt Medicare/Medicaid enrollees’ access to the appropriate care at the appropriate setting.” Read more about the study from the American Hospital Association. (Rhonda Curry)


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